Managers Abroad: A career by degrees

What prompted you to seek work out of New Zealand?
When I started work in my first Auckland hotel I didn’t intend to have an international career. My three children had all reached school age and I was gathering ideas as to what type of career I would enjoy.
Over the next 17 years I developed my passion for the hospitality industry, my career gathered momentum, I gained my university degree and, with my children grown up and living overseas, took the opportunity to transfer to Sydney in 2003.
At the time the decision wasn’t too difficult as my plan was to remain in Sydney for maybe two years and then return to New Zealand. Nine years later here I am living an amazing life in China and New Zealand is feeling rather remote.

How are your experiences overseas shaping your understanding of New Zealand?
Travelling and living in different culture has broadened my view of the world and opened my eyes to the hardship people experience in their lives. I can see first-hand how they work through such difficulties to succeed. We New Zealanders are very fortunate to come from country that is clean, green, healthy and located far from the political turmoil that many countries endure.

How can offshore Kiwis contribute to New Zealand?
It’s important that New Zealanders aspiring to do business in another country take the time to understand its culture, business ethics and local government legislation. Our New Zealand modus operandi for doing business can not necessarily be replicated elsewhere. This is particularly true of country such as China where relationships are vitally important and developed over long period of time.
Living overseas, we’re able to identify potential opportunities for New Zealand. Through our networks we can provide links for New Zealanders to the local market, and share experiences on the hazards and challenges of doing business abroad, especially in developing countries. M

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